The Futur's Content Strategy—How to Make 7 Figures Through the Spirit of Generosity
This is a breakdown of The Futur's content strategy. It led them to 1 million YouTube followers, a private community that generates over 30.000 in MRR, and more than 3 million in revenue in 2020.
The results come from a mix of generosity, audience-building, team qualifications, patience, and content marketing.
In this case study, you will receive six lessons:
- Never market to your audience.
- Leverage other people's audiences.
- Your job doesn't end after you hit publish.
- Content is useless without a proper landing page.
- Branding plays a role in search engine optimization.
- Team achievements, work, and qualifications benefit your brand.
This is a must-read for anyone interested in traffic, leads, brand recognition, and content that generates business.
Your team's successes are your achievements.
It is common to see people adding "Ex-Google" or "Ex-Apple" to boost their social proof. In some cases, the opposite happens.
The company's team and its track record are what gives credibility to the business: People might book a call with your 5-figure monthly retainer service out of trust for your VP of marketing.
The Futur is led by the Emmy award-winning designer, director, CEO, and founder, Chris Do. His name, face, and even clothes are a brand:
- 3.500 people search for Chris Do each month.
- 1.500 out of those land at The Futur's about page.
- Let's say 2% of them buy a course in the long-term.
- The average product price is 187 dollars.
- That's 5637 dollars a month and 67645 dollars a year from their CEO's recognition.
And that's not accounting for social media where Chris has over 800.000 followers. Or accounting for his team.
Take their Chief Content Officer, Matthew Encina as an example. He promotes the company through mentions, descriptions, tags, or social media profiles in front of his 300.000+ pool of followers.
Embrace content distribution.
Each post, course, or announcement gets shared at beyond one platform.
The result? More impressions, followers, views, and revenue.
Their workshop on how to create engaging Instagram content leveraged many platforms:
- Carousel post on IG where the team analysis a post from their last cohort. The last slide has a CTA to their event.
- Twitter tweet that announces the event and tells their thousands of followers that only 100 can assist.
- YouTube video with Chris proving their expertise in real-time.
These are three channels, not all of them. They could turn their Instagram carousel into a Reddit post. Turn the tweet into a Facebook ad or newsletter. Or turn the video into a blog post and publish it on Medium.
The possibilities are endless when you know your audience. Think about where they hang out, what they like, and then give it to them where they are.
Do not market. Serve.
In his book Pocket Full of Do, Chris explains that the key for audience-building is to not market, but serve. The more you improve someone's life, the more likely they are to fly across the state to see your book launch, share your newest SaaS feature, or support your latest plans.
Serving means listening to your audience's problems, wants, and needs.
The Futur's fans struggled with color, so they created a course that educates graphic designers, illustrators, and anyone interested in learning about color.
As the content lovers that they are, they started leveraging their platforms to promote this asset. They used Instagram, Twitter, their team's social media accounts, and YouTube.
They started creating tutorials on the topic of color.
Not going in-depth into color, but giving enough to spark curiosity in viewers. The YouTube content is high-quality, concise, and focuses on one problem:
- How to use color?
- How to make great color palettes?
- How to use color palettes?
- How to balance your color palette?
- Tips for selecting color combinations using harmonies.
The five videos revolve around color but target different segments of their audience.
The person searching for how to use color is behind a person wondering about great palettes. Somebody searching for great palettes is incapable of creating color palettes. So he is by definition behind the person looking to balance their palettes.
Their goal is not to show up for "Color." It is to capture various types of users who face different problems.
Invest in your brand's recognition.
The Futur has amassed several fans because of its give, give, give, and then take mindset.
The company has over a million followers across the globe. Some pay, some praise, and some donate. But most of them give back to the company in some form.
Their work and fanbase have given them industry recognition.
This has led to collaborations, sponsorships, and acknowledgment inside the creative space:
- Adobe sends above 2.000 visitors to their website.
- Wix boosts the page's authority thanks to their 94/100 domain rating.
- Dribble features The Futur's team on their podcast.
Their brand is well-known across the industry. Because of this, over 4.000 people arrive at their website by searching for their name each month. These are organic searches, meaning that people type "The Futur" on Google and end up on their website.
Branding is not dead. It takes time. But like SEO, once it kicks in the benefits grow exponentially.
Do not send potential customers to poorly-built pages.
A landing page is a single page with one goal: Capture an email, send you to another website, or encourage you to buy a product.
The industry, audience, and team play a role in the decisions on design and structure.
Yet, high-converting landing pages share some elements:
- They identify the most desirable outcome the reader wants.
- They use images to contextualize the offer or benefit.
- They focus on one specific user and their problems.
While the topic or teacher changes, the company follows a pattern on each landing page that respects these principles.
They lead with the title of the course. Share what the person will receive once they enroll.
And then proceed to state pain points, address objections, and reinforce the need for buy.
Because they work on their branding, build their reputation, and help their audience consistently, people who land on the course's page do not need an in-depth explanation. They need to eliminate their doubts and The Futur's go-to pattern accomplishes this time after time.
There is no point in attracting thousands if they leave.
Invest time, effort, or money into understanding your audience and what stops them from buying. Then design a page that helps them make the next step.
Collaborate with niche-relevant figures.
What happens if I'm incapable of serving my audience? There are three answers: You look for a new problem to solve, learn how to solve it, or collaborate with an expert who can solve it.
As long as it's useful for your audience and it is related to your service, it is worth the investment.
The Futur collaborates in multiple ways:
- Podcast interviews allow them to steal their guest's audience and reputation. For example, their interview with Austin Kleon, the author of Steal Like an Artist.
- Their course on how to manage money as a creative with Errol Gerson. Someone who is outside of The Futur's team.
- Chris Do's appearance at Adobe Max placed him as an expert.
Each collaboration results in an increase in followers, brand recognition, and revenue.
Missed opportunity: SEO-focused article versions.
While they publish high-quality articles oriented for their audience, there is an opportunity to take the content inside each video, edit it, and optimize it for search discoverability.
This is not a call to turn it into an article to generate more traffic.
For example, their video on how to be a better communicator with Cynthia Kane could bring 477 monthly visitors if it ranked number one on Google for "how to be a better communicator."
But, How likely is that to bring any business?
On the other hand, there are topics with a low search volume that align themselves better with The Futur's current offers:
- How to talk to clients would bring 82 visitors who could buy their Business Bootcamp.
- Their workshop on How to improve your Instagram could send 16647 if it was oriented to how to increase your following.
Take advantage of search engines as long as it makes sense. Sometimes the traffic will be lower than you'd like, but if it is capable of sending 82 interested leads into a $4995 course, it is worth it.
On his Adobe Max conference, Chris Do shares there are two games:
- Hunting—Chase after clients, feast/famine, unpredictable, sales, outbound, eat what you kill. Here you focus on sales and outbound marketing.
- Farming—Build audience/fans, slow, patient, inbound, content marketing, consistent, and compound effect.
After years of free content creation, it's clear The Futur took the long-term path.
Understand your audience, figure out what they need, leverage search engines, and align your offer to each piece of content you produce. But more importantly, be genuinely curious about the people you serve.
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